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Encyclopedia > Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwin's theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i.e. that just as competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change (speciation) through "survival of the fittest" (not a scientific term itself), competition between individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies. For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... “Life on Earth” redirects here. ... Charles Darwins first sketch of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. ... Herbert Spencer coined the phrase, survival of the fittest. ... Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ...


The term was popularized in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter, and has generally been used by critics rather than advocates of what the term is supposed to represent (Bannister, 1979; Hodgson, 2004). A historian is an individual who studies history and who writes on history. ... Richard Hofstadter (August 6, 1916 - October 24, 1970) was an American historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. ...


While the term has been applied to the claim that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to understand the social endurance of a nation or country, social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin's publication of his theory. Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, and Darwin's cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century. This article is about evolution in biology. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS (13th February, 1766 – 29th December, 1834), was an English demographer and political economist. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Some claim that it supports racism on the lines set out by Arthur de Gobineau before Darwin published his theories, which directly contradict Darwin's own work. This classification of social Darwinism constitutes part of the reaction against the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. Racism is a belief or concept that inherent differences between people, in particular those upon which the concept of race is based, determine cultural or individual achievement, and may involve the idea that ones self-identified race or ethnic group or others race or ethnic group is superior. ... Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (July 14, 1816 - October 13, 1882) was a French aristocrat who became famous for advocating White Supremacy and developing the racialist theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855). ... National Socialism redirects here. ... For other uses, see Holocaust (disambiguation) and Shoah (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Darwinism and theories of social change

Further information: Social evolution

The term "social Darwinism" first appeared in an 1879 article in "Popular Science" by Oscar Schmidt, followed by an anarchist tract published in Paris in 1880 entitled "Le darwinisme social" by Émile Gautier. However, the use of the term was very rare - at least in the English-speaking world (Hodgson, 2004) - until the American historian Richard Hofstadter published his influential Social Darwinism in American Thought (1944) during World War II. Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Richard Hofstadter (August 6, 1916 - October 24, 1970) was an American historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Theories of social evolution and cultural evolution are common in Europe. The Enlightenment thinkers who preceded Darwin, such as Hegel, often argued that societies progressed through stages of increasing development. Earlier thinkers also emphasized conflict as an inherent feature of social life. Thomas Hobbes' 17th century portrayal of the state of nature seems analogous to the competition for natural resources described by Darwin. Social Darwinism is distinct from other theories of social change because of the way it draws Darwin's distinctive ideas from the field of biology into social studies. Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... Cultural evolution is the structural change of a society and its values over time. ... The Age of Enlightenment (French: ; German: ) was an eighteenth century movement in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the Age of Reason. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition of humanity before the states foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. ...


Darwin's unique discussion of evolution was over the supernatural in human development. Unlike Hobbes, he believed that this struggle for natural resources allowed individuals with certain physical and mental traits to succeed more frequently than others, and that these traits accumulated in the population over time, which under certain conditions could lead to the descendants being so different that they would be defined as a new species. Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


However, Darwin felt that "social instincts" such as "sympathy" and "moral sentiments" also evolved through natural selection, and that these resulted in the strengthening of societies in which they occurred, so much so that he wrote about it in Descent of Man: "..at some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world."[1] Instinct is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by British naturalist Charles Darwin was first published in 1871. ...


Theorists and sources of social Darwinism

Herbert Spencer.
Herbert Spencer.

Despite the fact that social Darwinism bears Darwin's name and Darwin's works were widely read by social Darwinists, the theory also draws on the work of many authors, including Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus, and Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics. Some historians argue that Darwin distanced himself from social Darwinism in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871).[citation needed] Download high resolution version (1000x1541, 105 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1000x1541, 105 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher and prominent classic-liberal political theorist. ... Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS (13th February, 1766 – 29th December, 1834), was an English demographer and political economist. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... Title page of the first edition of Charles Darwins The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. ...


Herbert Spencer's ideas, like that of evolutionary "progressivism", stemmed from his reading of Thomas Malthus, and his later theories were influenced by those of Darwin. However, Spencer's major work, Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857) was released two years before the publication of Darwin's Origin Of Species, and First Principles was printed in 1860 . In regards to social institutions, there is a good case that Spencer's writings might be classified as 'social Darwinism'. He argues that the individual (rather than the collectivity) is the unit of analysis that evolves, that evolution takes place through natural selection, and that it affects social as well as biological phenomena. The 1859 edition of On the Origin of Species First published in 1859, The Origin of Species (full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life) by British naturalist Charles Darwin is one of the pivotal... In a formal logical system, that is, a set of propositions that are consistent with one another, it is probable that some of the statements can be deduced from one another. ...


In many ways Spencer's theory of "cosmic evolution" has much more in common with the works of Lamarck and Auguste Comte's positivism work than Darwin. Darwin's theory is concerned with populations, whereas Spencer's deals with the way an individual's motives influence humanity. Darwin's theory is probabilistic, i.e., based on changes in the environment that sooner or later influence the change of individuals in a collective sense, but do not have any single, specific goal. Spencer's is deterministic (the evolution of human society is the only logical consequence of its previous stage), fatalistic (it cannot be influenced by human actions), single path (it travels a single path, cannot skip any stages or change them) and progressively finalistic (there is a final, perfect society that will be eventually reached). Darwin's theory does not equal progress, except in the sense that the new, evolved species will be better suited to their changing environment. Spencer's theory introduces the concept of social progress — the new, evolved society is always better than the past. Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (August 1, 1744 - December 28, 1829) was a major 19th century naturalist, who was one of the first to use the term biology in its modern sense. ... Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term sociology. ... // Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... The Human Race could be: The Human race. ... The word probability derives from the Latin probare (to prove, or to test). ... The term deterministic may refer to: the more general notion of determinism from philosophy, see determinism a type of algorithm as discussed in computer science, see deterministic algorithm scientific determinism as used by Karl Popper and Stephen Hawking deterministic system in mathematics deterministic system in philosophy deterministic finite state machine... It has been suggested that Theological fatalism be merged into this article or section. ... Three billion years ago, life on Earth consisted of single-celled organisms, but now there is a tremendous variety of complex multi-celled creatures. ... Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ...

Thomas Malthus.
Thomas Malthus.

Spencer's work also served to renew interest in the work of Malthus. While Malthus's work does not itself qualify as social Darwinism, his 1798 work An Essay on the Principle of Population, was incredibly popular and widely read by social Darwinists. In that book, for example, the author argued that as an increasing population would normally outgrow its food supply, this would result in the starvation of the weakest and a Malthusian catastrophe. According to Michael Ruse, Darwin read Malthus' famous Essay on a Principle of Population in 1838 , four years after Malthus' death. Malthus himself anticipated the social Darwinists in suggesting that charity could exacerbate social problems. Another of these social interpretations of Darwin's biological views, later known as eugenics, was put forth by Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, in 1865 and 1869 . Galton argued that just as physical traits were clearly inherited among generations of people, so could be said for mental qualities (genius and talent). Galton argued that social morals needed to change so that heredity was a conscious decision, in order to avoid over-breeding by "less fit" members of society and the under-breeding of the "more fit" ones. Public domain photo of very old painting. ... Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS (13th February, 1766 – 29th December, 1834), was an English demographer and political economist. ... A Malthusian catastrophe, sometimes known as a Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian dilemma, Malthusian disaster, Malthusian trap, or Malthusian limit is a return to subsistence-level conditions as a result of agricultural (or, in later formulations, economic) production being eventually outstripped by growth in population. ... Michael Ruse (born June 21, 1940 in Birmingham, England) is a philosopher of science, a professor of philosophy and zoology largely concerned with the argument between creationism and evolutionary biology. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Francis Galton.
Francis Galton.

In Galton's view, social institutions such as welfare and insane asylums were allowing "inferior" humans to survive and reproduce at levels faster than the more "superior" humans in respectable society, and if corrections were not soon taken, society would be awash with "inferiors." Darwin read his cousin's work with interest, and devoted sections of Descent of Man to discussion of Galton's theories. Neither Galton nor Darwin, though, advocated any eugenic policies such as those which would be undertaken in the early 20th century, as government coercion of any form was very much against their political opinions. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... ... A psychiatric hospital (also called, at various places and times, mental hospital or mental ward, historically often asylum, lunatic asylum, or madhouse), is a hospital specialising in the treatment of persons with mental illness. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...


Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy addressed the question of artificial selection, but it was built against Darwinian theories of natural selection. His point of view on sickness and health, in particular, opposed him to the concept of biological "adaptation", forged by Spencer's "fitness". He criticized both Haeckel, Spencer, and Darwin, sometimes under the same banner. Nietzsche thought that, in specific cases, sickness was necessary and even helpful.[2] Thus, he wrote: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a 19th-century German philosopher. ...

Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.[3]

The publication of Ernst Haeckel's best-selling Welträtsel ('Riddle of the Universe') in 1899 brought social Darwinism and earlier ideas of "racial hygiene" to a very wide audience, and its recapitulation theory became famous. This led to the formation of the Monist League in 1904 with many prominent citizens among its members, including the Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Ostwald. By 1909 it had a membership of some six thousand people. [citation needed] Ernst Haeckel. ... The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, is a theory in biology which attempts to explain apparent similarities between humans and other animals. ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ... The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: ) are awarded for Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, and Physiology or Medicine. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald (commonly just Wilhelm Ostwald) (September 2, 1853 - April 4, 1932) was a German chemist. ...


The simpler aspects of social Darwinism followed the earlier Malthusian ideas that humans, especially males, need competition in their lives in order to survive in the future, and that the poor should have to provide for themselves and not be given any aid, although most social Darwinists of the early twentieth century supported better working conditions and salaries, thus giving the poor a better chance to provide for themselves and distinguishing those who are capable of succeeding from those who are poor out of laziness, weakness, or inferiority. The Rev. ...


Social Darwinism and race

Further information: Racism and Scientific racism

The term social Darwinism has been retrospectively applied to concepts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries developed from the idea of racial superiority and competition as set out by Arthur de Gobineau in his An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (published in 18531855, before Darwin published his theory in 18581859). Although a simple racial view of social Darwinism was that the white nations had to civilize the savage colored nations of the world, there were other more complicated ones. Darwin's theories of evolution were used to distinguish differences between the races of man based on genetic branching and natural selection. Genetic branching is the process that occurs in all species, including humans, in which groups of a species become separated from one another, each developing their own genetic characteristics different from other groups. It is because of genetic branching that we today have the human races or human populations. Popular at the time was the idea that the Nordic race of Northern Europe was superior because it evolved in a cold climate, forcing it to develop advanced survival skills that it later applied in modern times by being expansionist and adventurous. Natural selection was also thought to have worked at a faster pace in the frigid north, eliminating the weak and unintelligent more thoroughly than it did in warm climates such as Africa. Nordicists reasoned that if animals adapted to their own climates, both physically and mentally, then humans did as well. These ideas were wholly supported by the leading anthropologists and psychologists of the day, including the esteemed biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, an early defender of Darwin's theories, for which he was nicknamed "Darwin's Bulldog", and the influential psychologist William McDougall. Racism is a belief or concept that inherent differences between people, in particular those upon which the concept of race is based, determine cultural or individual achievement, and may involve the idea that ones self-identified race or ethnic group or others race or ethnic group is superior. ... Scientific racism might refer to either obsolete scientific theories of the 19th century or to historical and contemporary racist propaganda disguised as scientific research. ... Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (July 14, 1816 - October 13, 1882) was a French aristocrat who became famous for advocating White Supremacy and developing the racialist theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855). ... An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau is an early and significant work defining the concept of Scientific racism and White supremacy. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1855 (MDCCCLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern part of the European continent. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... Thomas Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley F.R.S. (May 4, 1825 – June 29, 1895) was a British biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his defence of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


A simpler racial attitude based on this "social Darwinism" is the belief that races need to be aggressive in order to survive. Darwin's theory of natural selection clearly saw each individual and species as being in a constant struggle for existence, with the best fitted prospering and less well suited tending to diminish in numbers, gradually leading to extinction. This was modified in such versions of "social Darwinism" into the belief that throughout history it was the weak species and races that died out or were exterminated, with the White race regarded as the greatest race because it had an attitude of superiority and a will to conquer. The White man had conquered the savages in some places and in other places had simply wiped them out, as the Americans had done on their continent and the British had done in Australia. It was the White race that deserved to survive from the viewpoint of "survival of the fittest", but in the modern world the White race was falling victim to inner politics while the yellow and brown hordes of Asia were building up their strength in preparation to overthrow the White man's domination of the globe. Many believed that it was only a matter of time before the White race and its Western culture were supplanted by "inferior" races and cultures. These ideas were supported by many influential men in the early twentieth century, including the American journalist Lothrop Stoddard in his book "The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy" and later an aviator Charles Lindbergh believed that the White nations should keep technological advances, especially aviation, to themselves for their own advantage. Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... For Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Junior, see Lindbergh kidnapping. ...


Influence of social Darwinists

Europe

Ideas described by others as "social Darwinism" enjoyed widespread popularity in some European circles, particularly among German and British intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Competition for empire encouraged increasing militarization and the division of the world into colonial spheres of influence. The interpretation of social Darwinism then emphasized competition between species and races, rather than cooperation. Militarism (military+-ism) is an ideology which claims that the military is the foundation of a societys security, and thereby claims to be its most important aspect. ...


Social Darwinism can be found in the plays of August Strindberg which give dramatic form to the grotesque sexual antagonisms of the constant war against men and women. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... August Strindberg Portrait of August Strindberg by Richard Bergh   (January 22, 1849 – May 14, 1912) was a Swedish writer, playwright, and painter. ...


United States

Spencer proved to be an incredibly popular figure in the 1870s, particularly in the United States. Authors such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske, John W. Burgess, and other thinkers of the gilded age all developed theories of social Darwinism as a result of their exposure to Spencer (as well as Darwin). Edward Livingston Youmans (born June 3, 1821 in Coeymans, New York; died January 18, 1887 in New York City) - American scientific writer, editor, and lecturer and founder of Popular Science magazine. ... William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) was the leading American advocate of a free-trade industrial society, which is what he believed the socialists meant by capitalism. ... John Fiske (1842–1901), born Edmund Fisk Green, was an American philosopher and historian. ... John W. Burgess (1844-1931) was a political scientist at Columbia University and a member of the Dunning School of Reconstruction. ... The Breakers, a gilded-age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. ...


Sumner never fully embraced Darwinian ideas, and some contemporary historians do not believe that Sumner ever actually believed in social Darwinism.[4] The great majority of American businessmen rejected the anti-philanthropic implications of the theory. Instead they gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art institutes, parks and many other institutions. Andrew Carnegie, who admired Spencer, was the leading philanthropist in the world (1890-1920), and a major leader against imperialism and warfare. Andrew Carnegie (last name pronounced , )[1] (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish industrialist, businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of Pittsburghs Carnegie Steel Company which later became U.S. Steel. ...


Experimental artist and musician Boyd Rice is a self-proclaimed Social Darwinist. Boyd Rice (born 1956) is an American experimental sound artist, occultist, archivist, actor, photographer, prankster and writer best known for his pioneering industrial noise music under the name NON. // Rice started creating experimental noise recordings in 1975, drawing on his interest in tape machines and bubblegum pop sung by female...


HG Wells was heavily influenced by Darwinist thought, and novelist Jack London wrote stories of survival that incorporate his views on social Darwinism.[5] For other persons named Jack London, see Jack London (disambiguation). ...


Criticisms and controversies

At its most extreme, some pre-twentieth century doctrines subsequently described as social Darwinism appear to anticipate eugenics (despite the fact that Darwin described eugenics as "evil") and the race doctrines of Nazism. Critics, particularly proponents of creationism, have frequently tried to link evolution, Charles Darwin and social Darwinism in the public mind with racialism, imperialism and eugenics, making the accusation that social Darwinism became one of the pillars of Fascism and Nazi ideology, and that the consequences of the application of social Darwinist policies by Nazi Germany created a very strong popular backlash against the theory. The Creationist ministry Answers in Genesis is especially known for these sorts of claims (most articles of the website make such claims, openly or more subtly). The most respected academic who advocates such views is Richard Weikart, a historian at California State University, Stanislaus and a fellow at the Discovery Institute; the main organization trying to incorporate Intelligent Design into science classrooms in the US and elsewhere. Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... Creationism is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity or deities (typically God), whose existence is presupposed. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The term New Imperialism refers to the colonial expansion adopted by Europes powers and, later, Japan and the United States, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries; approximately from the Franco-Prussian War to World War I (c. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the needs of the state, and seeks to forge a type of national unity, usually based on, but not limited to, ethnic, cultural, or racial attributes. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... AiGs logo Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a non-profit Christian apologetics ministry with a particular focus on Young Earth creationism and a literal, or plain,[1] interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis. ... Richard Weikart is full professor and head of department of history at California State University, Stanislaus and is a fellow for the Discovery Institute. ... California State University, Stanislaus, a campus in the California State University system, was established in 1957 in Turlock, California. ... The Discovery Institute is a think tank based in Seattle, Washington best known for its advocacy of intelligent design and its Teach the Controversy campaign to teach creationist beliefs in United States public high school science courses. ... For other uses, see Intelligent design (disambiguation). ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized...


Such criticisms are sometimes applied (and misapplied) to any other political or scientific theory that resembles social Darwinism, for example criticisms leveled at evolutionary psychology. Another example is recent scholarship that portrays Ernst Haeckel's Monist League as a mystical progenitor of the Völkisch movement and, ultimately, of the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler (Hitler often finds his way into anti-evolutionary propaganda of this kind). Scholars opposed to this interpretation, however, have pointed out that the Monists were freethinkers who opposed all forms of mysticism, and that their organizations were immediately banned following the Nazi takeover in 1933 because of their association with a wide variety of progressive causes including feminism, pacifism, human rights, and early gay liberation movements.[6] This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Ernst Haeckel. ... Monism is the metaphysical position that all is of one essential essence, substance or energy. ... The völkisch movement is the German interpretation of the Populist movement, with a romantic focus on folklore and the organic. ... The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, commonly, the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Feminists redirects here. ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Gay Liberation (or Gay Lib) is the name used to describe the radical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. ...


Similarly, capitalist economics, especially laissez-faire economics, is attacked by some socialists by equating it to social Darwinism because it is premised on the idea of natural scarcity, also the starting point of social Darwinism, and because it is often interpreted to involve a "sink or swim" attitude toward economic activity. Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are all or mostly privately[1][2] owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a free market. ...


However, there were few "social Darwinists" after the 1880s who advocated capitalism and laissez-faire. Most of them demanded a strong government that would intervene in the economy or society to weed out inferiors. They did not believe the marketplace could do that. For example, Ludwig von Mises, an advocate of laissez-faire, argued in his book Human Action that social Darwinism contradicts the principles of liberalism. Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) (IPA: ) was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Human Action: A Treatise on Economics is the magnum opus of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ...


Social Darwinist theory itself does not necessarily engender a political position: some social Darwinists would argue for the inevitability of progress, while others emphasize the potential for the degeneration of humanity, and some even attempt to enroll social Darwinism in a reformist politics. Rather, social Darwinism is an eclectic set of closely interrelated social theories -- much in the way that existentialism is not one philosophy but a set of closely interrelated philosophical principles. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings create the meanings of their own lives. ... A principle signifies a point (or points) of probability on a subject (e. ...


The key argument is that nature works by survival of the fittest and so does human society. Those who have survived or flourished did so by natural processes; those who died, are dying, or have failed economically likewise did so by natural processes; it is therefore unnatural and inefficient to try and change that through philanthropy or other non-market mechanisms (charity, government, etc.). Success or failure is usually dependent on natural traits, such as physical strength or guile. Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, time, or effort to support a charitable cause, usually over an extended period of time and in regard to a defined objective. ...


Some economic critics of social Darwinism point to David Ricardo's comparative advantage and claim that weaker members of society are valuable even if the stronger members are better at doing everything. However, social Darwinism does not necessarily assert the latter. Comparative advantage relies on the idea that trade and cooperation are more important than pure competitiveness, which might inhibit trade by erecting protective barriers. David Ricardo (18th April, 1772–11th September, 1823), a political economist, is often credited with systematizing economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus and Adam Smith. ... In economics, the theory of comparative advantage explains why it can be beneficial for two parties (countries, regions, individuals and so on) to trade if one has a lower relative cost of producing some good. ...


References

  1. ^ Descent of Man, chapter 6 ISBN 1-57392-176-9
  2. ^ Barbara Stiegler, Nietzsche et la biologie, PUF, 2001, p.90. ISBN 2-13-050742-5. See, for ex., Genealogy of Morals, III, 13 here
  3. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, §224 here
  4. ^ "A careful reading of the theories of Sumner and Spencer exonerates them from the century-old charge of social Darwinism in the strict sense of the word. They did not themselves advocate the application of Darwin's theory of natural selection." The Social Meaning of Modern Biology: From Social Darwinism to Sociobiology
  5. ^ "Borrowing from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, social Darwinists believed that societies, as do organisms evolve over time. Nature then determined that the strong survive and the weak perish. In Jack London's case, he thought that certain favored races were destined for survival, mainly those that could preserve themselves while supplanting others, as in the case of the White race." The philosophy of Jack London
  6. ^ Weikart, Richard (2002). ""Evolutionäre Aufklärung"? Zur Geschichte des Monistenbundes". Wissenschaft, Politik und Öffentlichkeit: von der Wiener Moderne bis zur Gegenwart: 131-48, Wien: WUV-Universitätsverlag. ISBN 3-85114-664-6. 

PUF (Presses universitaires de France) are the largest French university publishing houses, founded in 1921 by several professors. ... On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic (translation of Zur Genealogie der Moral: Eine Streitschrift, also translated On the Genealogy of Morality or Toward a Genealogy of Morals), is a polemical work of philosophy by Friedrich Nietzsche first published in 1887. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a 19th-century German philosopher. ... Human, All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches) is a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1878. ...

Primary sources

The Dublin Review was an influential Catholic periodical founded in 1836 by Michael Joseph Quin, Cardinal Wiseman and Daniel OConnell. ... Charles Darwins Origin of Species (publ. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ...

Secondary sources

Crook, Paul. "Darwin's Coat-Tails: Essays on Social Darwinism" (Peter Lang, New York, Oxford, 2007)

  • Dickens, Peter. Social Darwinism: Linking Evolutionary Thought to Social Theory (Philadelphia: Open University Press, 2000).
  • Degler, Carl N. In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (1992).
  • Gossett, Thomas F. Race: The History of an Idea in America (1999) ch 7
  • Hawkins, Mike (1997). Social Darwinism in European and American Thought 1860-1945: Nature and Model and Nature as Threat. London: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Hodge, Jonathan and Gregory Radick. The Cambridge Companion to Darwin (2003)
  • Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2004) ‘Social Darwinism in Anglophone Academic Journals: A Contribution to the History of the Term’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 17(4), December, pp. 428-63.
  • Hofstadter, Richard, Social Darwinism in American Thought (1955) (originally written in 1930s at a time author was active in Communist party affairs; he later became quite conservative. Historians agree that Hofstadter exaggerated the importance of social Darwinism in America.)
  • Lyons, Anthony, 'Social Darwinism: an undercurrent in English Education, 1900-1920", PhD thesis, University of Manchester, January 1996.
  • Jones, Leslie. Social Darwinism Revisited History Today, Vol. 48, August 1998
  • Kaye, Howard L. The Social Meaning of Modern Biology: From Social Darwinism to Sociobiology (1997).
  • Oakes, Edward T. Darwin's Graveyards: Yes, he really was a Social Darwinist, Christianity Today, November/Decmeber 2006.
  • Weikart,Richard. From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (2006)

by Published in 1997, this thesis deals with the rise of Darwins ideas and their applications to the indivdual and society following the publication of the The Origin of Species. ...


See also

For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... [[Image:Cultural evolution. ... It has been suggested that mutant be merged into this article or section. ... Social ecology is, in the words of its leading exponents, a coherent radical critique of current social, political, and anti-ecological trends as well as a reconstructive, ecological, communitarian, and ethical approach to society. Social Ecology is a radical view of ecology and of social/political systems. ... According to evolutionary biology, human beings are animals and have an evolutionary history by which we are genetically related to other species. ... Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature, known in Latin as philosophia naturalis, is a term applied to the objective study of nature and the physical universe that was regnant before the development of modern science. ... Robert Boyle Robert Boyle (25 January 1627 – 30 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor, and early gentleman scientist, noted for his work in physics and chemistry. ... Upper: Steel-plate engraving of Ruskin as a young man, made circa 1845, scanned from print made circa 1895. ... Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience and freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, regardless of anyone elses view. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be compromised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ... The Abraxas Foundation is a defunct Social Darwinist think tank named after the ancient god Abraxas. ... The Evolution of Cooperation is a 1984 book and a 1981 article of the same title by political science professor Robert Axelrod. ... Robert Axelrod is the Arthur W. Bromage Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. ... Prince Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: ) (December 9, 1842–February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society free from central government. ... George Chatterton-Hill was the writer of several books on Evolution and Sociology. ...

External links


Charles Darwin
v  d  e
Darwin's life
Education | Voyage on HMS Beagle | Inception of theory | Development of theory | Publication of theory | Reaction to theory
Orchids to Variation | Descent of Man to Emotions | Insectivorous plants to Worms
Darwin's family, beliefs and health
Darwin — Wedgwood family | Views on religion | Illness
Darwin's writings
The Voyage of the Beagle
Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection
The Origin of Species | The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals | The Power of Movement in Plants
Autobiography | Correspondence

  Results from FactBites:
 
Social Darwinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2728 words)
While Social Darwinism applies the concept of evolution and natural selection to human cultural systems, the extent to which the ideologies related to it are a part of Darwin's biological theory of evolution or Spencer's classical liberal philosophy is arguable.
Darwin's unique discussion of evolution was distinct in several ways from these previous works: Darwin argued that humans were shaped by biological laws in the same way as other animals, particularly by the pressure put on individuals by population growth, emphasizing the natural over the supernatural in human development.
Social Darwinist theory itself does not necessarily engender a political position: some Social Darwinists would argue for the inevitability of progress, while others emphasise the potential for the degeneration of humanity, and some even attempt to enroll Social Darwinism in a reformist politics.
Social Darwinism - MSN Encarta (751 words)
Social Darwinism, term coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans, like animals and plants, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in “survival of the fittest.” Social Darwinists base their beliefs on theories of evolution developed by British naturalist Charles Darwin.
The term social Darwinist is applied loosely to anyone who interprets human society primarily in terms of biology, struggle, competition, or natural law (a philosophy based on what are considered the permanent characteristics of human nature).
Social Darwinism characterizes a variety of past and present social policies and theories, from attempts to reduce the power of government to theories exploring the biological causes of human behavior.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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